It’s quite a daring move. What could possibly happen to titles like Call of Duty, Spyro, and Bandicoot?
Microsoft has announced yesterday that they would be acquiring Activision | Blizzard, known for titles like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Warcraft, Spyro, and Crash Bandicoot. The deal is valued at around USD 70-75 billion, which is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition yet.
The purchase is Microsoft’s intent to further venture itself into gaming. It also made them the third largest gaming company behind Tencent and Sony.
So… what now? Now, Activision’s gaming titles would soon be available for the XBOX Game Pass. Another intent of the company’s acquisition is to further expand to the ever-confusing metaverse concept. “Today is an incredibly exciting day. As we continue our journey to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment, we will eventually do so as part of Microsoft. I am certain that our incredible talent and extraordinary games combined with our shared commitment to the very best workplace will enable us to grow in an increasingly more competitive race for leadership as gaming through the metaverse evolves.” according to a letter by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.
The acquisition will also apparently help them improve certain technologies, such as AI, cloud computing, and machine learning. We also hope that Microsoft can fix the games the company has released recently, such as Call of Duty, as the latter is a huge dumpster fire right now.
Currently, XBOX Game Pass has around 25 million subscribers, largely thanks to Microsoft’s continued acquisition of gaming studios.
If you don’t live under a rock, Activision | Blizzard has been under fire lately for alleged employee misconduct and sexual abuse cases, and more and more employees came forward to continue to report these sexual harassment cases. Microsoft’s deal came just months after the allegations. In addition, Activision has agreed to settle USD 18 million in damages with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The settlement is currently being appealed.
Microsoft has not announced yet on how the sexual abuses cases are going to be resolved. For now, Bobby Kotick will remain as CEO of Activision and Phil Spencer will remain as CEO of Microsoft Gaming. To put it simply, it will be business as usual. As if nothing happened. Activision | Blizzard will report directly to Spencer.
“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players,” says Spencer. “We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.”
If you can recall, the company has purchased Bethesda just a year ago, for a deal of USD 7.5 billion. After the acquisition was settled, the XBOX Game Pass saw a significant boost in subscription and also made the company’s own XBOX Game Studios larger. We can see that Microsoft is attempting to do this again with Activision apparently.
And to answer the question: Microsoft has made no announcement for XBOX exclusivities yet. However if they ever do that, that’s a bad business decision on their part and may be anti-competitive.